Monday, October 31, 2016

Enjoying Some Down Time

Monday's mean were at Metro Relief working in the food pantry.  This is the time of year when the food donations are probably at there lowest.  There isn't much food to sort or pack, so I took advantage of the down time and shot some pictures for our next Metro Relief newsletter.

The good news is that in two weeks food donations will start pouring in from the schools.  Many of the local elementary schools conduct food donations in time for the holidays.  So we have avoided ordering food to allow us to clear the shelves and prepare for the incoming donations.  

Most food pantry shelves are at the fullest from Thanksgiving though mid-February.  Many people are conscious of doing good and donating to the poor during this time of year.  Those big donations have a big impact on the operations of most food pantries.  

So while today, we didn't have much to do except clean up in anticipation of the coming donations, we did enjoy the down time with our sweet friends.  

 Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.  Luke 6:38

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Studies

Another Sunday afternoon hanging out in the book of Acts!   We've finally covered enough of Luke's letter to start playing some review games.  This seems to be the best way to reinforce what the kids understand from our studies.

I try to put together different games to add a little variety to their learning.  Between our class lessons, study guides, practice tests, and games; hopefully I've got something for each learning style. This year i have a really big group of kids, even with all the kids in these pictures, there were still four kiddos out of town! 

One of my favorite tidbits from this weeks class was how the final words of Stephen, while he was filled with the Holy Spirit, mirrored the final words of Christ! 

And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.  Acts 7:59-60

The Boy!

We got a great surprise yesterday, the boy came home to see us.  Well actually, the boy came home to early vote, but close enough.  This was Caleb's first presidential election, so I took a picture or two.  But I made sure I kept the camera the required 100 feet from the election controls.  

It was a super short visit, just long enough for him to vote, eat and mom to do some laundry!  Sunday morning he went to church with us and was able to say hi to his friends.  I had to smile as he and Mr. Warpole, our missionary to Estonia, pontificated on his exegesis on a portion of Revelation. 

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.   Romans 13:1

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tethered Together

This post may get us in trouble with Granny!  The good news is Jon has completed painting all of the exterior of the house.  He's replaced boards, caulked and painted the entire house.  The scary part is that is him standing on one of the dormers painting the chimney. 

He was harnessed to the chimney and had a ladder strapped to the roof so he could get up and down the steep roof grade.  And, yes that is Frankie on top of the other ladder.  When I asked her what she was doing, she explained she was in charge of catching stuff Jon dropped AND calling 911!  At least they had a system!

By wisdom a house is built,
    and by understanding it is established;
Psalm 24:3

Friday, October 28, 2016

Frankie's Day

Have you checked your calendar today?  Did you notice?  Today is Francis Marie Day, it's the day we celebrate Frankie's adoption!  Twenty-Two years ago, after Frankie had been with us for three years through foster care, we were able to legally adopt Frankie. 

On that week, twenty-two years ago we were also able to attend the adoption proceedings for two of Frankie's biological siblings as well.  Each year we celebrate the unique way God assembled our family. 

Today we celebrated with a trip to the Dallas Arts District, followed by a stroll through Klyde Warren Park.  Later our girl picked her favorite spot for dinner, Olive Garden.  

The Lord watches over the sojourners;
    he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
    but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
Psalm 146:9

Dallas Museum of Art Teen Workshop

Today's Teen Workshop at the Dallas Museum of Art was entitled Sensory Explorations.  The students looked at the impact the Silk Road had on Asian and European art. 

The youth led students to use their senses to experience the art in the museum.  During the workshop portion of the class they mixed their own paints using spices and pigments. 

Her favorite mixture was the  vanilla bean light grey pigment.  The least favorite would have to be the curry mustard blend!  

If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  I Corinthians 2:17-18

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Snapshots, Scriptures, & Spoons

Our fabulous PEACH group had another yearbook meeting followed by the group's Bible study night.  Abigail is enjoying taking pictures at our club events for the yearbook.  They will begin laying out pages in another month.  

This month the group has been busy selling ads.  The yearbooks cost almost $50 each to print, so by selling advertising space they can bring the cost down to $35 each.  Each student in the group is responsible for selling $250 worth of advertisements.  Abigail is thrilled that she's met her requirement already.   I've encouraged her to sell a few more, just in case any of the other kids have trouble selling.  

After Yearbook Club, the teens meet up for Bible Study using the Answers In Genesis DVD series. After Bible Study their was a fierce game of spoons!  I love the sweet encouragement and gentle spirit of these teens that surround Abigail.  They are such a refreshment to the worldly image of teenagers, a true refreshment from our experiences last school year.  So thankful!  

a heart that devises wicked plans,
    feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
    and one who sows discord among brothers.
Proverbs 6:18-19

Monday, October 24, 2016

S-Care Package

While Caleb and his friends were home for fall break, they asked that the next care package include oatmeal butterscotch cookies.  So today the girls and I packed up some Mike & Ikes, Mac 'n Cheese, tuna, fruit snacks, and granola bars. 

We also included some movie candy, popcorn, and a Dr. Who DVD of the Weeping Angels episodes for a dorm movie night.  Caleb and his friends from club, Kyodai, usually have a movie night sometime during the week.  I'm sure it's after they get through studying! 

We topped the package off with the cookies for the guys and a super scary card!  When he opens the package the flaps read, 'It's Scary How Much We Miss You!'  I can't imagine why he doesn't open these boxes until he gets to his room. 

For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. John 5:20

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Time to Celebrate

Today was a great day for a wedding! We had the privilege of celebrating Whitney and Joel's nuptials.  Whitney's daughter Zayle has been one of by Bible Bowl kiddos for several years.  

There is something special about a wedding and being surrounded by friends!  

Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ Matthew 22:9

Friday, October 21, 2016

Bountiful Fridays

We're just hanging with our homies on Friday, it's our usual Friday morning pick up at Tom Thumb for the pantry.  Our local Tom Thumb is great about donating all kids of bakery items to our guest.  

Each week we pick up two or three shopping carts of goodies.  Other Metro Relief volunteers pick up food at this same store every week day.  This is food they would clearance or just throw out because the bakery only sells items made fresh that day. 

The sales value on these two carts would be close to $400.  It a huge benefit to our guests!  Part of this food will go out to the pantry guests on Monday and Wednesday; but the rest of it will go out to the homeless on Friday and Saturday. 

Can you imagine if you were struggling to make end meet, needing food assistance and then finding a beautiful birthday cake for your kiddo on the shelves!  I love it when our little moms find such goodies for their kiddos!  Not only does Tom Thumb donate week after week, but so does Papa John's, Starbucks. Olive Garden, and Outback! 

These all look to you,
    to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up;
    when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
Psalm 107:27-28

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Youth Technology Club

I love our PEACH Tech Club!  Last month the teens were learning how to layout and design their own creations for 3-D printing.  They used several on-line sources specializing in a wide range of mediums.

Tonight they learned basic elements to website programming and design.  Each teen has a blank site to create there own web page.  Over the next couple of months they will be adding content to their sites.  

The group has about eight teens involved and a few younger teens that hang out during their meetings. I'm looking forward to seeing the sites they build. 

Let them praise the name of the Lord,

    for at his command they were created

Psalm 148:5

Homemade Sweet Asian Chili Sauce

A few years ago, our family discovered Sweet Asian Chili Sauce smothered chicken wings.  Even better are Sweet Asian Chili boneless wings served over yellow rice! 

I love the sauce, and decided there had to be an easy way to have it on hand for quick lunches.  The good news is you can find a recipe for anything on Pinterest.  This afternoon we found a recipe using a pound and a half of peppers, plus about a pound of jalapenos from our garden added to some garlic and sugar.  

In under an hour and a half Abigail and I made eight pints of sauce! 

So heap on the wood
    and kindle the fire.
Cook the meat well,
    mixing in the spices
Ezekiel 24:10

Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas

Today was another field trip day with our PEACH home school group.  This time we visited the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas.  It's a beautiful Biblical-themed art museum that hosts around 50,000 visitors annually.  

The museum opened up in the 1960's, but then re-built and re-opened in 2010 after a fire in 2005. The beautifully remodeled museum boasts eleven galleries, The National Center for Jewish Art, an on-site Art Conservation Lab, Via Dolorosa Sculpture Garden, and many cast of Michelangelo's sculptures. My favorites are the ones I saw in Italy with my parents like Michelangelo's Moses and the Pieta'. 

This was our families first visit since the opening of the new Via Dolorosa Sculpture Garden.  In Latin, "Via Dolorosa" means "way of sorrows" or "painful way." It refers to the path that Jesus walked on his way to crucifixion. Visitors follow that path and complete the 14 Stations of the Cross, which features larger-than-life bronze statues by Santa Fe artist, Gib Singleton.  When my parents and I were in Jerusalem we were privileged to walk through the stations thought to be traveled by Jesus. 

He began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. Mark 14:33-35

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Apple Pie Filling

Seriously, this is not a blog about canning!  But with the girl on no screen time we are old schooling it!  So with another run to the store, we were off and running with apples.  A couple of years ago I canned several quarts of apple pie filling and they were delicious.  We used most of them to make apple cobbler, delicious!

We peeled, cored and sliced fifteen pounds of apples and with ten cups of sugar and spices we had sixteen quarts of apple pie filling! The house smells like Christmas goodness!

Strengthen me with raisins,
    refresh me with apples,
    for I am faint with love.
Song of Solomon 2:5

Canning Asparagus

I grew up with a side dish of asparagus with Velveta cheese sauce served at most big family dinners.  It is still a favorite dish, especially when I go home to my mom's home.
Jon and the kids aren't big asparagus fans, but it has grown on them as they've gotten older and realize I'm going to serve it from time to time. Although I grew up on canned asparagus I also really like fresh asparagus.  But, I'm not always thrilled at the almost $5 per pound price for fresh or $4 per can price. 

This week Tom Thumb had my favorite veggie on sale for under $2 per pound.  I purchased twelve pounds of the green stalks of goodness.  Home canning asparagus means it doesn't get as mushy as the canned version.  

This is the link I used for canning the asparagus. The only variation I made to the recipe was I used a little less salt and added 1/2 teaspoon or chicken bullion to each jar tall pint jar.  When you can asparagus the spears are cut to the length of the jars, which means there is still a lot of the good veggie that is usable but not canned when you are packaging them in spears.  I canned all of the spears and then made the rest of the pieces into asparagus soup.  

When we were all finished my twelve pounds of asparagus yielded 12 tall pints of spears and four quarts of soup! Not bad for a twenty-five dollar investment! Well, only $25 if you already have the jars and equipment! 

 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.  Romans 14:2-3

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Canned Garlic Potatoes

As long as the girl has not screen time or reading, we've been trying to make the best use of our time.  We've stayed at home so she can rest throughout the day, but kept a little busy doing helpful things around the house, like canning.  If I'm home there is a good chance that I'm on the computer working on Bible lessons or our little blog here.  

If there is not a laptop in front of me then I'm probably doing art, sewing, or cooking.  Right now is a great time of the year to find canning jars on sale, so it looks like I'll be doing some more canning.  I ran up to the grocery store I purchased ten pounds of Yukon Golden Potatoes.   Why would you can potatoes?   Well, they are great for potato salad, stews and breakfast potatoes. 

My favorite use though, is as mashed potatoes.  I can pour them into a pan heat, mash, and add milk and butter.  They are so much better than instant potatoes.  I used the recipe on the link above, the only exception was I added two cloves of garlic and a half a teaspoon of chicken bullion.  It gives the potatoes a wonderful buttery flavor. 

The potatoes are processed at ten pounds of pressure for 35 minutes.  the ten pounds of potatoes yielded eleven quarts. 

Better a small serving of vegetables with love

    than a fattened calf with hatred.
Proverbs 15:17

Garlic Dill Pickle Slices

We continues our adventures in canning continue today, this time with dill pickle slices.  Everyone in out house likes dill pickle slices, especially the boy! The brine mixture is the same as the dill pickle spears we canned yesterday.  

We began with twelve pounds of pickling cucumbers and when they were sliced and processed we finished with eleven pints.  Each pint was prepared with fresh garlic and dill.  In a few jars I added a small jalapeno for spicy dill pickle slices. 

Pickle are an easy vegetable for people new to canning.  It is one of the first things I learned to can, and it's one of the first items I taught the kids how to prepare. 

How sweet are your words to my taste,

    sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103

Monday, October 17, 2016

Junior Toastmasters

Several weeks ago, Abigail prepared her Ice Breaker speech for the PEACH Junior Toastmaster Club.  Unfortunately, due to softball she hadn't been able to present.  Tonight with softball on hold she was able to present her speech.  

It was a sweet tribute to her relationship with Caleb while giving a glimpse into her personality.  As her grammar teacher, I cringed at her use of 'beaten' a few times, but again, it's proof she wrote it, proofed it and did it herself.  I love her independence. 

Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
    I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,
    for my lips detest wickedness.
Proverbs 8:6-7

Spicy Dill Pickle Spears

My girl is still on cognitive rest since her concussion last week.  So I've been creative at finding things that she can do without reading, using a computer screen or watching television.  Her doctor is thinking a few more days of brain rest. 

So after today's pantry we made spicy dill pickles out of the cucumbers we bought at the Farmer's Market with Caleb on Saturday.  Caleb and Jon love dill pickles, but they especially like it when I can them with two cloves of garlic, a jalapeno and a sprig of dill in each jar.  

The twenty cucumbers yielded six quarts of dill pickle spears.  Now to let them sit and soak up the flavors.  They should be ready to serve in two weeks.  The great thing about processing pickle is that you can do it in a water bath and you don't need a pressure cooker. 

We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers,
melons, leeks, onions and garlic.  Numbers 11:5

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Texas Bible Bowl

Today was week three for Texas Bible Bowl preparations.  In class today, Peter healed the lame man, the religious leaders couldn't argue that a great miracle had occurred!  Peter and John came before the religious leaders and were told not to speak of Christ, but Peter said he would rather obey God than man!  Many were added to their number!  

We reviewed chapters 1-4 in a game of 'Zap.'  It's a game board that allows kids to draw a card if they get a correct answer to a question.  The card they draw can add points to their score or add points to another team score.  The great thing is everyone had a fair chance of winning the game.  It's a great way to keep everyone engaged while we are still learning Bible facts. 

I was really proud of the last player today, Kaiden.  He drew the card to add points to other team scores.  He divided the points so that all teams tied.  Nicely done! 

Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Farmer's Market

After the busyness of mid-terms, then a six hour drive home and a day at the fair Caleb was ready to take it easy today.  After a slow morning and big breakfast with Caleb's friends, we headed to the Farmer's Market in Flower Mound. 

I was on the hunt for some small cucumbers but it's a great place to find other goods.  There were herbs, canned goods, homemade cheeses, baklava, candles and much more. 

We enjoyed our share of samples and came home with several goodies.  Caleb found a succulent plant for his dorm room.  It's like a roommate, only neater! 

This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.  Ecclesiastes 5:18

Friday, October 14, 2016

State Fair of Texas

We got the approval for Abigail to go to the State Fair of Texas with the kids.  They all got up early this morning and had a little breakfast before Jessica came over.  Next, they ran over and picked up Hannah and met up with Brian; then they were off the Fair Park.  

I am convinced there is no way to see everything at the fair, but they tried.  The Animal Science majors enjoyed the barns.  The girls loved the Taylor Swift exhibit.  The food was a big hit with everyone.  Hannah, Caleb and Brian enjoyed the rides.  It was a great day for these young people and one little sister to hang out.  The Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas kids all enjoyed everything that the great State Fair of Texas has to offer.  

I'm glad that Caleb is the type of young man to invite his friends for the weekend and I really enjoy that they like coming and hanging out at our house!  
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 
I Peter 4:9

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bowling and Musicals

The kids took it easy today, sleeping in and having a late breakfast.  They went out in the afternoon showing their friends a few of Caleb and Richard's favorite spots.  They spent a little time at Pin Stack for a couple of games of bowling.  

Abigail joined them, concussion and all! She took a pair of ear plugs just in case it was too noisy.  J.J. won the first game with Caleb coming in second. For the second game Caleb won with Levi only one point behind him! Abigail lost both games but she was only using a seven pound ball today because he neck and shoulders are still so sore.  

In the evening we had dinner together and we watched Into the Woods together.  It was the musical that LCU presented Family Weekend but the boys hadn't seen the original movie.   I don't think anyone is prepared for Chris Pine (a.k.a. Captain Kirk) singing 'Agony!'

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;

    heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
Psalm 6:2

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

He's Home!

We have a house full of kids again!  Today began Lubbock Christian University's Fall break, which means the boy is home for the next several days.  And, just like last fall break, he brought several friends with him.  

Most of the kids came in tonight there are a few more arriving in the morning.  As you can see Padme' was very happy to have the boys home.  Our puppy grew up with house full of Duncan boys at our home and she seemed happy to have lots of boys loving on her. 

The girls were a big help to me getting an extra four beds ready and making sure we had plenty of great meals and snacks. I love every minute of hostessing and doting on the kids friends! It's also good to know that college kids really don't need much just a place to sleep, shower and plenty of food!   

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Some Like It Hot

With no student today and four bushes full of jalapenos, I took my newly acquired free time to can fourteen half pints of pickled peppers. These are a household favorite on nachos, sandwiches and any Mexican dish. 

Canning them only took a couple of hours and the very best part is that Jon did all the cutting.  He had a break from work and took all the peppers to the table on the back porch for slicing.  The open air kept the house from smelling like spicy peppers.

One of the things I like about canning peppers is that you can do it in a water bath and you don't have to pressure cook them. Above is the link to the recipe I used.  

for your merchandise they exchanged the finest of all kinds of spices and precious stones, and gold. Ezekiel 27:22

Great Physician

As promised, today we went to visit our friend Dr. Nicole Lanman.  Nicole and her hubby have attended church with us for about ten years at McDermott Road.  She checked out the girl and agreed that she had a concussion and whip lash.  

The prescription was for no school for the rest of the week, no screen time, no phone, and no reading.  She wants Abigail to rest her brain.  The goal is that Abigail can go to the State Fair of Texas on Friday with Caleb and his friends.  

The girl will be hanging out on the couch this week and no softball for two weeks! 

Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Mark 2:17

Monday, October 10, 2016

That's Using Your Head

Abigail's CHANT Chargers finished off their fall season with another double header.  They won the first game and on the second game the other team forfeited.  That gave them 7 wins and 1 loss for fall.  

Because the second team forfeited, the girls took the time to scrimmage on the ball fields. They were playing 8 on 8.  Abigail was running from third to steal home, In the process, her friend Sarah went to tag her she got Abigail on her chest, but because Abigail was sliding feet first into home, Sarah's glove caught on Abigail's mask.  This jerked Abigail's head back and the back of her head hit the ground. 

Fortunately, one of the CHANT coaches is an EMT.  He checked her out and said she had a concussion.  So Abigail sat out the rest of the scrimmage.  

After the game Abigail and Sarah goofed off, recreating a better story about how Abigail got a concussion. The girls have played ball together and been buddies for several years.  Sarah was apologizing profusely, but honestly, she did nothing wrong.  It was just a risk of playing ball.  Looks like we'll be at the pediatrician's office tomorrow. 

Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh

    and refreshment to your bones.
Proverbs 3:7-8

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Teach Them Diligently

Bible Class Betty would approve of our morning!  Even after Abigail making it home around midnight, she was back up bright and early this morning to help me in the nursery.  After nursery duty and worship, the girls and I moved on to our second week of Bible Bowl.  

This week we were in chapter of Acts where the Holy Spirit arrived on the apostles waiting in the Upper Room; Peter showed using the writing of the prophet Joel and King David that Jesus was the fulfillment of the promise and many were added to the church!   

After a full morning of teaching we had a quick lunch and a little nap before it was time for Abigail to head to three hours of softball practice.  I'm pretty sure I napped longer than she did! 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  II Timothy 3:16-17

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hoco 2016

Tonight was homecoming for homeschoolers in the North Texas area.  Over 700 homeschoolers attended the event at the Frontiers of Flight Museum.  This year's theme was Flight: Take Off with Us

Abigail headed over to Gracie's house to get ready for the big event.  The girls did hair and make-up together.  And then headed to Hannah's house to meet up with friends for dinner. 

The group then headed to the homecoming dance together.  I'm looking forward to seeing all the event picture when they're posted! I'm really grateful Abigail was surrounded by good friends for the evening! 

When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. Luke 15:25

Friday, October 7, 2016

Our Daily Bread

Our Thrive ministry at church met up at the Avenue F Church of Christ to pack bags of fresh fruits and vegetables.  We loaded up over one hundred adult bags and seventy kids bags that we delivered to residents in McKinney.  The girls and I joined friends from church in packing bags full of apples, oranges, bananas, onions, potatoes, jalapenos, tomatoes, and carrots.

McKinney has one of the few homeless shelters in the area, it also has government assisted housing for low income families.  Each adult bag was about $40 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables.  At Fitzhugh park we greeted the guests as they came through, checked them in and then loaded them up with goodies.   McDermott runs the Thrive ministry in McKinney on the first Friday of the month. 

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,  for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:8-9

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fairly Good Friends

When your friend text to say they are willing to drive from another state to come hang out with you, you adjust your schedule so you can play!  The Gungans made the trip down so we could hang out at the Texas State Fair.  My first trip to the Texas State Fair was with Donna as my tour guide. She navigated us through the Little Kids on the Farm, Kids Barnyard, and through the food vendors.  I remember her explaining that I had to have a Fletcher's, and I was confused because I couldn't image why I needed a corny dog when there were so many other great fried foods.  But she was right, and every year we've hit the Fletcher's stand! We may have stopped at a few other food stands, too! 

This year for the first time ever in America, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel was on exhibit. It is a photographic reproduction of Michelangelo's work, displayed in its original size.  I was fortunate enough to see the real thing, including David when I was younger traveling with my parents.  But I wanted the kids to see the amazing master pieces.  The girls freaked out a little that so much nakedness was included in painting that were done at the direction of a Pope. 

We hung out at the Fair all day, it's crazy because we still didn't see everything.  We never made it to the arts and crafts building or to any of the animal barns.  But we had a blast hanging out with our friends and are so appreciate their coming to hang out with us! 

The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not,
 and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, 
for God has accepted them. Romans 14:3

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Luke's Diner

This morning was a special day for all fans of the tv show Gilmore Girls.  Netflix partnered with 200 cafes and coffee shops around the country transforming them into Luke’s Diner to celebrate the shows 16th anniversary.  Every state had the Stars Hollow nostalgia and served Lorelai and Rory’s favorite drink of choice – coffee!  The Luke’s Diner pop-ups opened up from 7am to noon and the first 200 visitors at each location was treated to a free cup of coffee. 

The girls and I met up with the Baileys and Ms. Kathy for our Gilmore Girls experience.  The baristas were wearing Luke’s traditional flannel shirt and backwards baseball caps.  The line was incredible; we stood in line for about an hour and a half talking Gilmore Girls moments! 

If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, 
it will be taken as a curse. Proverbs 27:14

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Spice of Life

Our banana pepper plants are still producing a plethora of peppers! Yesterday Jon pulled about 12 pounds of peppers off of our bushes. Armed with a 12 quart stock pot and a paring knife we went to work. Three hours later we had 4 pints of garlic banana peppers, 4 pints of sweet banana peppers and 4 pints of jalapeno banana peppers. 

Afterwards I went to grab a shower and when I returned Jon had cleaned up all my mess in the kitchen. That’s the best way to can! 

Stay tuned, I'm pretty sure I'll be putting up jalapenos next week! 

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. Matthew 23:23

Monday, October 3, 2016

Good Sports

Ir's Monday night so my girl is at it again hanging out behind home plate at the CHANT Chargers double header.  The girls went into the first game undefeated.  They played Legacy Christian Academy Lady Eagles and unfortunately CHANT lost 6-2.  LCA brought in a pitcher that wasn't on their rooster, who was throwing hard and fast.  Abigail had one at bat and hit straight to second base.  

Abigail caught the second game against John Paul II with her buddy Sarah pitching.  The girls have played together for several years and make a good pair.  Abigail had a base hit up the middle and CHANT won 12-1.  

One of the things I really appreciate about Abigail's coach is that when we are up, the coach holds the girls back from stealing bases or advancing.  Tonight he encouraged the right handed batter to swing left handed to practice slapping at the ball. The girls got to try their hand at new skills and encourage the other team to improve. 

Opponents must be gently instructed,
in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them
to a knowledge of the truth  II Timothy 2:25

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Random Acts

Texas Bible Bowl starts today, the beginning of six months of in depth studies of the book of Acts. We started off with thirty-one students and six moms preparing to take the test in April.  

Jon kicked off the parents meeting in one room and I began lesson one with the kids.  I had intentions of getting pictures of the kids but the best I did was a photo of my study materials. For Texas Bible Bowl each teacher is responsible for preparing their study material.  I've spent the last six months getting the Bibles highlighted.  In addition I write a Study Guide for Texas Bible Bowl.  It is up on the website for other coaches to utilize for their classes too. 

Other things I find helpful with my class is flash cards for games.  The girls helped me write questions for people, places, colors, quotes and numbers in our study.  Technology is a great aid to this generation too.  I've been able to upload the flash cards to Quizlet, an online flash card game site.  Quizlet even offers apps where students can play on their phones. There is also a website called Dropbox where I've uploaded audio files for book of Acts and file games.  

The kids were full of excitement today, it's always so encouraging to see a room full of kids who are eager to study the Bible!  It still takes me by surprise that they get excited about hanging out with me, knowing I'll be giving them homework, tests, and more tests! 

Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin,
 it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; 
you will only find yourselves fighting against God. Acts 5:38-39

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Think on These Things

Our little blog is kind of simple, it's not a how-to do anything type blog.  It wasn't written to inspire or motivate greatness.  It was created, over a decade ago so that our younger children then five and nine years old could keep in their out-of-state family up to date on our daily activities.  It was created in an effort to let the family know was things were going on with us, so that when they talked to the kids on the phone they could ask questions about an event that happened earlier in the week.
As time passed, the blog has also served as just a backstage look at homeschooling with all the goings on available to this generation of homeschoolers.  It has also evolved into a fun way for Frankie to look back at the places we've been and the fun things she's done with her siblings.  I'm pretty sure she is my biggest fan.  

Last year the blog took on a new importance, it allowed Caleb, who is away at college to keep up with his sisters.  Much like we wanted to keep out of state family members engaged in the children's lives, the blog now allows Caleb to feel included.  There are times that I will post a field trip on the blog and a few hours later Abigail will get a text from him asking how she enjoyed the field trip. 

There are Grandparents who may never see Caleb's new home at Lubbock Christian University but I love that they can view it through glimpse of posts here.  Today we spent another day on campus with the boy hanging out with him.  He took us around campus to areas like the office where he's tutoring Algebra student; where they have their Student Senate meetings; where the Kyodia club meetings are held and just let us in on his life as a college student.  

It's heartwarming to see how at home he feels at LCU and to see the maturity in m young man.  I hope that when our friends or family stop by to check out our little blog spot that they come away with same warm feelings.  

This isn't a blog to tell you how to do anything, or to express political views, or even promote religious affiliations, although I've really blown it if you've read several of my posts and you don't get that our Christian faith dictates our behavior.  It is simply an invitation to join our lives, celebrate the good things, and maybe at the end find a scripture or a verse that can inspire each reader, including my own children, to do things better.  I will admit that some days I fail in big ways and the scripture is simply a reminder to me of how I wish the day had gone! 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
  Philippians 4:8