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Archive for September, 2009

Boy Scout Court of Honor



Last night John’s Boy Scout troop had a Court of Honor to give the boys the awards that they have earned during the past few months.  John moved up in rank to Second Class.  He is actually very close to completing the First Class requirements and should get that advancement at the next Court of Honor scheduled in February.  He also got the Totin’ Chip and Historical Trails patches along with two of the required Eagle scout merit badges, First Aid and Citizenship in the Nation,  and two optional merit badges, pets and painting.

We are continuing to work on Boy Scout requirements, but it does slow down during the school year.  Like I said, John is currently working towards the First Class rank while he is completing another Eagle required merit badge, Personal Fitness.

Brock will move up into this same Boy Scout troop in February.  I look forward to seeing him work his way through the ranks as well!

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A couple of weeks ago, the girls helped me to make Wagon Wheel Chili as part of Caravan.  I based what we did on a recipe in Taste of Home’s Fun Food on p. 88.  It was so easy and yummy!  We also made “Mini Subs” to go with the chili, and those were also a big hit.  Mini Subs are simply sandwiches made on hot dog buns with favorite sub sandwich toppings.  Here is a Smilebox of the chili recipe:

Click to play this Smilebox recipe: Wagon Wheel Chili
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Today Brock finished his mammal poster for his 5th grade science class.  He had a lot of fun making it because he loves our guinea pigs so much!  He enjoyed being able to put pictures of our pets on his poster.  He still needs to put together an oral report for school, but he will also give a three minute presentation about his poster and his pets for Webelos next week.

I finally bought a paper cutter for projects like this.  I’m sure I’ll wonder why I didn’t get one sooner!  It sure makes cutting straight edges easier, and makes for a nicer final product.

Cosette is getting ready to begin her third grade animal notebook, so that paper cutter will definitely be put to good use soon!

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Three years ago Huang Min Cui from Huangshan, Anhui Province, China, became my daughter.  We changed her name to Kara Joy Mincui O’Brien because “Kara” means “pure,” and we were confident that God was bringing our family pure joy when He saw fit to bless us with her.  He has truly done that, and I praise Him today for the honor of being this precious child’s forever Mommy.

We love you dearly, Kara, and can’t wait to see how God works through you–He already has in so many ways!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Three Years of Blessing
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A New Fad



Last May, I gave John a set of Speed Stacks for his birthday, and, believe it or not, they just got put aside and never even opened–until this past weekend.  My brother and his wife were visiting and brought a couple more sets of stacking cups with mats and timers for the kids.  Well, this spurred them all on to watch the DVD to learn how to do this fun activity.

So, for the last few days, my living room has been taken over by stacking cups!  The kids are being nice helping each other learn tricks to go faster, and, of course, there are many friendly competitions going on too!  All five of the kids have been sucked in by this latest fad, and actually I kind of hope that it is one that will last awhile.

Of course, they are absolute beginners, but they have been having a lot of fun practicing the fundamentals of this sport.  Here is a video of Brock–I think he is getting the hang of it:

When the kids get more proficient in the days to come, I will post more videos of the cup-stacking progress.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: The New Fad
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Kara had a couple more Scriptures to say before the end of her grading period later this week, so here they are:

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Wanted: Digital Camera Advice

I have never been terribly happy with my digital camera.  It’s ok, I guess, but it is somewhat disappointing.  The auto-focus is slow and often does not get the pictures in focus at all, and the pictures are consistently too dark.  So, I find myself taking a lot of shots just because I know most of them won’t work out.  I literally have to edit every picture on my camera before they are usable.

So, I am beginning to consider getting a different camera.  I want a good, functional camera, but it does not need to be fancy.  I basically want a good, dependable point-and-shoot with video capabilities.  I really don’t know enough about digital cameras to make a smart decision, so I am asking my readers for advice.  Do you have any brands or models to recommend (or stay away from)?  What features should I be looking for?  Any help would be appreciated.  Please leave your suggestions as comments, and I will take all of them into consideration.  Thanks in advance!

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