Archive for January, 2009

I love this blog. I enjoy using it as a family memory book of sorts, and I have met some neat people in the process. I have enjoyed getting to know many of my readers, and enjoy receiving comments and suggestions from time-to-time.

That being said, lately I have been the recipient of some rather rude and vicious emails. It is sad that some people must get a lot of pleasure from being able to attack someone whom they will never meet or know. For those people, I want to remind you that you are guests on this blog. I am the owner. I reserve the right to refuse your comments at my discretion.

My kids read this blog and like looking at the pictures of our family activities. If the comments submitted to this blog are not appropriate for their eyes, they are not appropriate to post, and they will be deleted. Yes, you can disagree with me, but vulgar language, name-calling, and the like will not be tolerated or published. If someone is offended by this standard, then just don’t read this blog. That is the standard that will be held.

Now, for the majority of my readers: I appreciate you. I enjoy the interactivity of the internet and have really benefitted from your friendships. Sometimes it is tempting to password-protect this site for privacy reasons, but I would miss the richness of fellowship that I get from most of you, my friends.

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2009 Pine Car Derby

Today was the annual Cub Scout Pine Car Derby.  Even though we only have two official Cub Scouts, our family entered 5 cars because Dan, Cosette, and Kara had cars in the Family Open Class.

This was our second year of the derby.  Last year we had no idea what we were doing, so this year we bought the book Pinewood Derby Speed Secrets:  Design and Build the Ultimate Car and used some of its great tips to make our cars.  I am happy to report that although none of our cars won their various divisions, we did much better than last year!  In fact, Dan’s car came in 2nd in the family class, and Luke’s car came in 2nd for the Tiger Cub class!  The rest of the cars were in the 3rd/4th place range.  So, we are learning some good tips.  Next year maybe we will try even more ideas from our book!

All in all, it was a fun day.  The kids had fun watching the races with some friends of ours.  Now we just have to try to figure out how to store and display our growing derby car collection!  🙂

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Totin’ Chip

Wow–I haven’t been posting much lately! Things have just been pretty routine around here, and not much “blog-worthy” news has been happening! 🙂

One neat thing did get finished today, though. John finished the requirements to receive his Boy Scout Totin’ Chip, which is a card that states that he has learned and demonstrated how to carry and use wood tools.  One of the older scouts in his troop was kind enough to spend a couple of sessions working with John. He learned the parts of the tools and today he got to try using a carving knife, camp ax, hatchet, and saw. John said he actually enjoyed it!  

So, not only has John completed the Totin’ Chip, he has also completed a few more requirements for his next rank advancement.  I am thankful that this older scout has been so nice and helpful–a good example for my boys, to be sure.

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John’s 6th grade writing class sometimes assigns journal entries with specific topics. This week, he was supposed to write an entry defining one of a list of words. He chose the word “school,” and I thought his entry was rather poetic. Here is what he wrote:

School is a place where the order of God’s creation is revealed.

School is a group of students whose interest can last a year.

School is the place where the joy of excellency can be seen in a pupil’s eyes.

School is a teacher giving her knowledge to a pupil.

Nice thoughts, John!

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Every weekend I go to the grocery store to buy the food I need for the coming week. This is really not my favorite job, and lately it has become more complicated. Let me explain:

I take my faith seriously. It affects all that I do. Even my grocery shopping. I have been disturbed that companies whose job it is to make products for my family have instead decided to use their clout to promote perversity. I really don’t understand it. The most recent companies to cave into the homosexual agenda are Pepsico (whose products include Pepsi drinks, Frito-Lay chips, Quaker Oats, Tropicana, and Gatorade) and Campbell Soup of all things.  What producing great products like Life Cereal, Cream of Tomato Soup, and Pepsi Cola has to do with supporting abominable behavior is beyond me.

These companies have traded their purpose of making good family-friendly products for politics and support of a sinful lifestyle.  My family has loved these products.  My kids eat chips like crazy, but since the companies are making political statements with which we do not agree, we are making a political statement by not buying their products.  Yes, this makes shopping hard.  Try finding chips not made by Frito Lay.  It eliminates all cereals made by Quaker Oats.  I don’t even buy simple cans of soup made by Campbells.  Radical? Maybe.  But I know that my money is not going to promote the liberal, homosexual agenda.  And that is worth a lot.  

So, I guess even going to the grocery store to get our weekly food is getting more difficult these days.  It is a small price to pay really.  Who knows what choices we will have to make in the days to come?  I just pray for the strength and wisdom to remain true to my Lord Jesus Christ, no matter what may come my way.

By the way, does boycotting these companies really work?  Absolutely.  Look how McDonalds changed.  Now we happily enjoy their food again without wondering how our money is being used!

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Last summer in my entry dated July, 1, 2008 I told of a scarey incident that we had with Kara during swimming lessons. To make a long story short, while the lifeguard was not paying attention, Kara went under the water and could not swim.  A lady who was dressed in Muslim clothing pulled her out.  God really used that situation in my life to teach me about having a soft heart.  You can read more about that in that entry.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I saw in our local paper that this lady had just had a baby.  I was telling Dan about it, and then the pieces all began to come together:  it ends up that this lady is the wife of a guy who works at the same office as Dan!  They are Egyptian and are here in the USA doing irrigation research.  I don’t know why we never figured out that this lady was his wife!

I got an invitation to attend a baby shower for this lady that was being put on by Dan’s office.  Even though I really did not know her, I wanted to go if for no other reason than to tell her thanks for what she did.  She will never know how God used her not only in Kara’s life, but in my own.  Sometimes my heart is just so hard, and He definitely used her actions on that day to chip away at that old, hard heart.

So, I praise God that He gave me this opportunity to express my gratitude to this dear lady.  She will only be in this country for a few more months.  I pray that God will be working in her life.  She is truly a hero.

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Exercise Points

I will admit it:  we had gotten pretty lazy this winter.  It is so easy to do when the weather is cold and we have school to do.  Our lack of activity bothered Dan, so last week he came up with a plan to get everyone to exercise, and it has met with unexpected success!

We developed a point system.  One point is the same as 10 minutes of purposefull exercise.  When the older kids reach 100 points, or when the younger kids reach 50 points, these can be traded for a reward. Right now all of the kids have Webkinz pets as the reward, but that can change as interests change.  What has been surprising, though, is how the kids have gotten into it!  Not only for the prize, but because they have found that exercising is fun.  They also like seeing their points accumulate, and, yes, they like seeing how they are doing in relation to the other kids.

We originally thought it would take about 2 months to reach the prize goal of 100 or 50 points, but the way they are going, it is not going to take nearly that long.  I will keep you posted on how things progress.  By the way, I am also participating in the points system, and I am happy to report that I have already gotten 8 points this week!

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This is Brock’s book report of The Colorado Kidnapping.  He is in 4th Grade of A Beka Academy.

Sugar Creek Gang:  The Colorado Kidnapping is a Christian fiction book written by Paul Hutchens.  It has 128 pages.

The Sugar Creek Gang is going to go to Wild Horse Canyon when Big Jim hears about a missing and supposedly dead woman in the canyon.  They find a beer bottle with a note inside asking how to become saved.  They answer the note and keep traveling. Cranberry Jones, a famous man in Wild Horse Canyon, knew Connie, the missing woman.  As they search for Dragonfly’s hat, they find Connie’s purse.  Later, the gang finds out that Connie is still alive. She is the one who left the note in the beer bottle.  The book ends with Cranberry and Connie getting married.

My favorite part of the book is the rodeo.  It is very exciting. Cranberry Jones is almost run over by a wild bull.

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