Archive for July, 2009

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Today I was looking through some of my old video clips and came across this video of Kara from September 2007.  She was almost four years old and had been home for about a year.  In this clip, she tells about a drawing that she made of her family.  Just wait to hear what she says the dots on the foreheads are…..

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more about “A Funny Video from the Past“, posted with vodpod

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A Winning Season

Last night was our last evening of city recreation baseball for this year.  Wow–what will it be like not going out to the baseball diamonds EVERY NIGHT???  What will we do with all of our extra time???  😉

Anyway, I wanted to use this entry to take a look back at this year’s season.

This was Kara’s second year of T-ball.  She really enjoyed playing.  Her season was very short with only a few games, but she had a blast.  She was especially excited when she finally hit a pitched ball at her last game and got to be the catcher. She is convinced that she is ready for the major leagues now!  Here is Catcher Kara:

Catcher Kara

Brock definitely had a growing season this year.  This was his first year in a league that had the kids doing fast pitch, so that took some getting used to.  He had a tough coach–that  also took some getting used to (for all of us)!  😉  The boys on his team really pulled together and gave each other encouragement and support, and that is probably what got us through it all.  That was my biggest lesson of the summer:  a few words of encouragement can make a lot of difference.  I have been trying to put that into practice more often.  Anyway, Brock learned a lot on his team: patience, bravery, and effective base running.  I am proud of him.  Even though his team did not win very many games, they did their very best and all of us grew through that team.

Luke’s team, on the other hand, had an amazing season.  In fact, they won all of their games except for two regular games and one tournament game.  This was Luke’s first year out of T-Ball, so he made great gains on hitting a pitched ball.  Last night was his championship game.  Some of their key players were gone, so they struggled in that last game.  Luke’s Purple Rookie Boys’ Team ended the season with the top regular-season record  and second place in the tournament.  He was so pleased when his team was presented with medals.  Here is the happy champ:

A Happy Boy

So, it has been a good baseball season.  It will also be good to go on to other things–like real life!  We are going to encourage each of the kids to keep practicing during the off season so they will be ready for another exciting summer next year!

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This week I have been doing some very-late-spring cleaning.  The summer is slipping quickly by, and I know that once we start school, our time for more than surface cleaning is quite limited.  In addition to that, next week our new windows are supposed to be installed.  I thought it would be nice to at least have the rooms that will get the new windows clean and tidy!

As I was cleaning, Cosette came up to me and asked if she could help.  Could she help?!  Of course she could help!  I set her to work with some polish and a rag.  She did a great job cleaning up some of our doors.  I really appreciated her cheerful willingness to help.  That’s my girl!

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This summer I have been helping Brock complete the requirements for the Webelos Scientist activity pin.  I helped John complete this same pin a few years ago and discovered that the Egg in a Bottle experiment is fun and gets a good reaction, so I decided to video it this time around.  It takes a while to get this experiment to work–our biggest problem is getting a big enough flame going in the bottle to get the egg to suck into it, but, believe it or not, the one time it worked this morning, I actually had my camera going!  🙂

(Before doing this type of thing with my kids, I always discuss fire safety and that we NEVER play with fire.  Also, in the video, John lights the matches.  He has had proper training through Boy Scouts to do this safely.)  With that, here is the Egg in the Bottle Webelos Experiment:

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Luke has always been quite the theologian/philosopher.  He has remarkably deep thoughts for such a little guy!  He often surprises us with profound comments that he will make out of the blue about different topics.

He has had a couple of these “Lukeisms” during the past couple of days.  Last night he was walking with me at the baseball diamonds.  We weren’t discussing anything in particular, when he said, “You know what, Momma?  I have decided that getting in trouble is for your own good.  When you grow up, you have to live the way you’re supposed to.”  I told him that he is absolutely right, and that I was proud of him for learning that.  It’s also true for adults–getting disciplined by God when we mess up is for our own good.  He is molding all of us into what He wants us to be.  And He has a big job working with me!  😉

This morning I needed to run to Wal-Mart for a few things, and as we were going into the store, Luke had another “Lukeism.”  He said, “You can never outrun your shadow.  I know because I tried last night.”  Luke, you are such a neat boy who brings a lot of joy to your Momma.

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This summer, John, Cosette, and Kara have been participating in our local library’s summer reading program. I have written an earlier entry describing it in more detail here. This week is the last week for the meetings as well as the deadline to complete the at-home activity cards.

Kara’s group had a different incentive than the older kids had.  She got a sticker for every book that she read or had read to her this summer.  As a prize for completing her entire sticker sheet, she got a nice bagful of fun prizes like sticker crafts, balloons, etc.

John and Cosette each completed the “Imagination Station” game cards for their respective levels.  These cards had 20 activities for the kids to complete on their own.  They were mostly crafts, looking up articles about certain topics on the internet, writing poems, etc.  Cosette finished her card a couple of weeks ago, and John finished his today.  (That’s pretty good for a boy who doesn’t like to do crafts much!)  I had told John and Cosette that I could help them a little, but that I preferred if they tried to come up with their own ideas and complete as many activities by themselves as possible.  I also told them that they only had to complete the activities if they WANTED to, and that I wouldn’t remind them, nag them, etc. to do it. They both did a terrific job and surprised me by their own initiative and creativity.  As a reward for completing all of the activities, they will go to a special pizza party at the library next Thursday evening.

I am proud of John, Cosette, and Kara for working hard to complete these fun game cards this summer.

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Sunday School

This summer I started teaching Kara’s Sunday School class, and I must say that I absolutely LOVE it!  I have spent much of my adult life teaching young kids whether in Sunday School or Bible Clubs, but it had been awhile.  About 2 1/2 years ago we changed churches, and we spent that time getting to know our new church (and letting them get to know us!) before jumping into teaching positions.  I really enjoyed my break because it allowed me to sit in an adult class for a change and receive great teaching, but I really did miss working with the little ones too.  I love seeing kids’ enthusiasm for learning and watching them grow in their understanding of spiritual truths.

Our church uses this Sunday School curriculum.  Like I said earlier, I have taught a lot of different materials, but I really think that the preschool material that I have for my current class is one of the best I have seen.  The Biblical content is solid, and there are plenty of ideas and activities provided in the teaching materials to put together good lessons without a lot of searching for additions.  I also like that each lesson has practical applications for my students incorporated into each week’s Bible teaching.  It is easy to teach with, and the kids in my class enjoy it.

So, I am thankful that God has opened the door for me to teach again.  It is truly a joy to pass on my faith to the next generation.

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As promised, I am posting the supper recipes that John made at this weekend’s camp.  (By the way, any of these recipes would work at home in normal ovens too!)

Click to play this Smilebox recipe: Meatballs in Gravy
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Click to play this Smilebox recipe: Hearty Taters
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Click to play this Smilebox recipe: Easy Scout Pies
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Scout Camp Cooking

This summer John has been working on completing requirements to advance in Boy Scouts.  In order to achieve higher ranks, he needed to plan the meals for a campout, and then lead the cooking.  Well, this was as much of a learning experience for me as it was for John because I have never been involved in camping until now!

John soon discovered that planning an event like this takes a lot of time and thought.  He helped through the whole process of selecting recipes, buying ingredients, planning the pots and utensils, etc.  He organized the cooking for both of the camp meals:  supper and breakfast.

Since camp cooking is new to all of us, I went to my trusted resource for information:  the internet.  We found some sites with nice recipes to try, and picked some that we thought sounded pretty simple.  John and I figured out what ingredients could be chopped and browned prior to the actual camp to help ease things along a little, and that proved to be a good idea.

For supper, John’s main dish was meatballs in gravy.  He pre-cooked most of the meatballs so they could just simmer at the camp, but we did leave some raw to cook in foil packets over the coals.  The meatballs cooked in the foil packets were absolutely wonderful, and the others were delicious served over noodles.  He made a potato dish and had bread for side dishes.  We tried a scout pie recipe for desert cooked over the camp fire, and that was a hit as well.

For breakfast, John made his troop’s favorite egg casserole and fried scout biscuits.  Breakfasts are often the favorite meals at camp, and everyone reported that John’s cooking was good.

Since John was the camp cook, he invited his Mom and sisters to come eat the evening meal.  The girls had an absolute blast while they were there.  They especially enjoyed helping to gather and prepare the wood for a camp fire.

I decided that since camp cooking will be a regular event in our lives for the forseeable future, it would be a good idea to collect good recipes.  A good place to gather them and keep them from getting lost is this blog.  I am going to start a new category called Camp Cooking for these posts.  It is my plan to begin that category with my next post tomorrow.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: John's Camp Cooking
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