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Archive for July, 2010

Our family really enjoys funny commercials. Lately we have been finding videos on You Tube of some of our favorites. Some are current while others are older. The ones that I am posting are ones that we particularly enjoy. The first two were aired on the Weather Channel around 1997, and we have talked about them ever since:

This next one is a current favorite of Brock’s. He can imitate the drill sergeant perfectly.

Dan has always enjoyed the Jimmy Dean sausage commercials. The little girl in this commercial reminds Dan of Cosette when she was younger:


These Ally commercials are my favorite!

Maybe I should add more as we think of them! ūüôā

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Jumping Beans

These were lots of fun, and they actually worked better than some we had purchased a few years ago as stocking stuffers!  I have several crafting blogs that I follow, and one day last week I came across the instructions and template to make these cute jumping beans at this link. Cosette pestered me all weekend to let her try it out, and finally last night, I told her to go ahead.  Well, once she had made hers and saw how well it worked, Luke and Kara were quick to make theirs too!  They are really easy, and the only needed materials are the printable template, card stock, crayons, scissors, glue, and a marble.  We found that the beans work the best with a heavy, small marble.  In fact, we used the little magnetic marbles from a building set that we had.  Another tip:  the better the templates are cut out, the better they work too!

Here is a video of the kids enjoying their jumping beans:

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2010 Baseball Season

This summer is going by so fast. ¬†Luke’s regular baseball season ended this past week. ¬†All he has left is the championship tournament beginning on Tuesday.

He has had a pretty good year. ¬†His team has gone through lots of ups and downs, but overall he has learned a lot. ¬†His hitting has really improved, and he’s at the age that fielding the ball is starting to make sense to him and his team. ¬†It makes for a much more interesting game to watch when they can actually make some outs! ¬†ūüôā

The other four kids have enjoyed attending all of the games. ¬†In the slideshow for this entry, I put in some pictures of how they spend their gametimes: ¬†keeping score, playing with the “baseball dog” (a dog that lives near the fields that comes out to play with the kids every night), and enjoying sunflower seeds and pop.

It’s a good thing that we have a year to think about Luke’s baseball for next year. ¬†Next year he’d technically be old enough to move up to the boys’ fast pitch league, but we’re not too crazy about that league. ¬†It includes kids all the way from those entering 4th grade to those entering 8th grade, and that is just too big of an age range. ¬†The 8th graders are always the pitchers which can be a little intimidating and even scary for the younger boys. ¬†We might see if he can stay in this league another year. ¬†They divide the ages by birthdays, and I think we have a legitimate inquiry on it. ¬†Luke’s birthday is in April, but he really wasn’t supposed to be born until July which would put him in this league for another year. ¬†And his physical skills development really sticks closer to being a summer rather than a spring baby. ¬†We’ll see. ¬†It sure would be nice not to put him in with those older boys yet.

My days have been spent sorting through my messy, messy basement. ¬†My hand-me-down clothes boxes had gotten so out of control that they were almost hazardous just to walk by! ¬†So, I have been going through all of those, resorting, restacking, etc. ¬†I have several boxes of stuff to give away, and it’s always nice to see some stuff leave my piles! ¬†ūüôā ¬†School is really creeping up on me–I need to start preparing for that in earnest soon.

The insurance adjuster came by to inspect our house for hail damage today. ¬†He says that the roof needs replaced without question, and that it’ll all be covered less our $500 deductible. ¬†So, praise God for that! ¬†The inspector also found damage on some our window screens and our guttering, and that’ll be covered as well. ¬†I guess it’ll even cover the roof on our little shed, so that is just great! We’ve had several companies give estimates, but it looks like the lowest estimate is actually coming from a local business. ¬†So, we are glad that all of that is working out as well. ¬†There is so much hail damage around our neighborhood–who knows how long it’ll be before they’ll be able to get to us?!¬†It’s all OK, though. ¬†We are just so thankful that everything is working out.

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Kara has continued to be busy this summer making a variety of art projects. These usually are recycled boxes turned into various things for her Webkinz Zumbuddies. This morning I went downstairs to do some laundry, and I found these recent additions to her collection on her desk:

TV for Zumbuddies

Kara tells me that this is a television for her Zumbuddies.

A Popsicle Stick Chandelier

This creation was a little harder to understand because Kara didn’t know what it was called. After a lot of discussion, I think this is a Popsicle Stick Chandelier for her Zumbuddies. She informed me that it does not use lightbulbs, however. It burns candles.

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2010 Readers’ Theater

This summer Brock and John both went past their “comfort zones” and volunteered to participate in our community library’s summer Readers’ Theater program. ¬†John had wanted to give it a try from the very beginning, but Brock wasn’t too sure that he was interested. ¬†The librarian was having problems getting enough people to do the dramas, so Brock said he’d go as long as John went too. ¬†Well, to make a long story short, they have both absolutely loved being a part of this!

Along with the 4 other cast members, the boys met weekly to plan, prepare, and practice their skits. ¬†All of the skits were humorous plays relating to frogs, princes, ponds, etc. ¬†The boys didn’t hesitate to volunteer for the silly roles because I had told them that those are often the funnest parts to have. ¬†They came home from the practices with lots of enthusiasm and stories to tell about the skits.

The performance was today. ¬†There were probably around 40 people that attended. ¬†I was so proud of the boys. ¬†They both read with great expression and were loud enough to be able to be easily heard. ¬†I’ve said it before and will probably continue to say it: ¬†I love seeing my kids grow up and do neat things. It’s a blessing to see John and Brock changing into responsible, godly young men!

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Aftermath of the Hail Storm

A few days ago, I blogged about the hail storm that hit our neighborhood.   We had hail that was a little larger than golf-ball size.  The last few days have been really strange on our block!  We have had roofing companies going door-to-door wanting to do free inspections and estimates.  It is not exaggerating to say that we had five different companies come just today!  And many of these companies are from clear across the state, so I guess they saw the weather report and headed our way!

It is kind of annoying, I must say. ¬†My day was continually interrupted today, but Dan reminded me that we really should see what damage was done. ¬†So we have let a few people take a look and offer their estimates. ¬†They’re all saying the same thing: ¬†that we have moderate damage with some hits that went all the way through the shingles. ¬†They’re also all saying that the kind of shingles we have aren’t made any more, so patching or partial replacement is not really a possibility. ¬†Dan is working with our insurance company to decide what we should do. ¬†It is strange being the target of so many companies wanting to “help.” ¬†Hopefully all of the excitement will wear down over the next few days so I can actually get something done besides answering the door!

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2010 Swimming Lessons

Well, I can always tell that the summer is quickly passing when it’s swimming lesson time! Brock, Cosette, Luke, and Kara are all taking them. ¬†John has already passed the Boy Scout blue swimmer test, so he is exempt from lessons this year! ¬†ūüôā Brock and Cosette are in Level 3, while Luke and Kara are in Level 2.¬†Level 2 is kind of funny–I have definitely noticed a pattern with my kids in it. ¬†All of my kids have had to take Level 2 twice: ¬†the first year they struggle and struggle, and then when they go back the next summer, they realize that they can swim with little help! That’s how it is this year with Luke and Kara. ¬†This is Luke’s second year in Level 2, and he didn’t think he could swim until the second day of class. ¬†Then all of a sudden, he realized that he WAS swimming, and has breezed through the rest. This is Kara’s first year in Level 2, so this is her year to struggle a little.¬†Watch out next year, though! ¬†I bet I’ll blog that she all of a sudden realized that she can swim too!

Brock and Cosette are in Level 3 and are both doing very well. ¬†It’s neat to see them be able to be in the deep end of the pool and be comfortable with it.¬†Cosette was determined after the first day of class to jump off of the high diving board. ¬†None of the rest of my kids have been willing to try it, but she was sure she could do it. ¬†So, do you think she was scared? ¬†Do you think she hesitated at the end of the board??? ¬†Here is a video at her first attempt at jumping off of the high dive:

That’s Cosette for you! When she sets her mind to do something, she just does it! Even the lifeguards were laughing about how confident she was!

This is supposed to be the last year of lessons at this facility. Our town is getting a new pool that is supposed to open next year. It is one of those fancy ones with water slides, a lazy river, etc. I have mixed feelings about it since it RAISED OUR TAXES, but the kids are looking forward to it. I guess we might as well take advantage of it since we are paying for it, huh?!

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So, you’re probably wondering what it is that we don’t see very often!¬†This entry’s picture is of a hail stone in Dan’s hand! ¬†I was cooking supper when Dan got home from work and told me that there was a really nasty cloud heading our way. ¬†Sure enough, just a few minutes later, we heard the thunk, thunk, thunk from the hail hitting our roof. ¬†Then it went from a thunk to a THUD! ¬†It started hailing balls about the size of golf balls!¬†Fortunately, there wasn’t very much wind, and not a lot of hail, so just by looking around it doesn’t look like too much damage was done here. ¬†It’ll be interesting to hear what it was like other places around the area–not all of the wheat harvest has been finished yet!

Here is a picture of our street during the hail:

HPIM4023

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UPDATE: ¬†The shoes have been spoken for by a family who can use them! Praise God! ¬†I will post more shoes on this blog at a later time when we accumulate more pairs of the mismatched sizes. ¬†So if you are in need of some (large left, small right) don’t hesitate to let me know and I’ll see what I have.

As most of my readers already know, our daughter Kara has a corrected clubbed foot.¬† Although the foot is straight, it will always be smaller than her ‚Äúnormal‚ÄĚ foot, and this is quite a common result of unilateral clubbed foot.¬† In her case, there is a large size differential, and we have to buy her two pairs of shoes every time she needs new shoes:¬† a larger size for her ‚Äúnormal‚ÄĚ foot and a smaller size for her clubbed foot.¬† We don‚Äôt mind doing this‚Äďit‚Äôs really not that big of a deal.¬† There is only one problem, though.¬† We end up with these left-over shoes that are the opposite of what she needs.¬† I would absolutely LOVE to find someone who could use these shoes.¬† In fact, I would happily send them to anyone that needs them for the shipping charge only.¬† They are all brand new.¬† Here are the pairs and sizes that I currently have:

Pair 1

Pair #1 are blue and white Danskin Athletic Shoes. The left shoe is size 12, and the right shoe is size 10. These shoes were originally $11, and I got them on clearance sale for $7.

Pair 2

Pair #2 are pink and white Strawberry Shortcake Girl’s Athletic Shoes. The left shoe is size 11, and the right shoe is size 8. There are some tags attached, but they don’t tell what the price for the shoes was.

Pair 3

Pair #3 are a really cute pair of Garanimals pink, purple, and white Velcro Athletic Shoes. They have a sweet heart pattern on the sides. The left shoe is size 11, and the right shoe is size 9. There are tags attached, but no original price is listed on them.

Pair 4

Pair #4 are Faded Glory Athletic Shoes that are multi-colored and sparkly. There are cherries and stars on them. The left shoe is size 11, and the right shoe is size 9.

Again, these are brand new shoes that I will gladly give to anyone that needs them for the cost only of shipping. We used the other shoes from the two pairs to fit Kara. If anyone can use them or knows of a charity that can use them, please let me know by leaving a comment to this post. It seems such a waste to just throw them away.

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This week is the last week of the activity classes that the kids have been taking. ¬† They have been great! I really wish I would’ve known about them several summers ago!

This week the kids took a class that was offered by the Sternberg Museum about a variety of “critters” that are found on the prairie. ¬†They had several small animals that the kids were able to look at. ¬†In the picture for this entry, the kids are looking at a Prairie Rattlesnake–under glass, of course. ¬†The speaker encouraged the kids to get a good look so that they can identify this animal if/when they come across one in the wild. ¬†This snake was actually a pretty “good” snake according to the speaker. ¬†It is fairly young, and doesn’t strike very much. ¬†It just coils up, rattles, and puts on a good show.

This program was, of course, presented from an evolutionistic point of view, and the speaker pointed out that our area is known for its aquatic fossils. ¬†I wondered what my kids were thinking during that part of the presentation, and they later told me. ¬†They said they recognized what he was saying as being evolution, and that they aren’t surprised one bit that there are a lot of aquatic fossils here; after all, this area was covered with water during the world-wide flood described in the Bible! ¬†John also pointed out that the speaker showed a tooth from some extinct animal and said that it was “made to eat clams.” ¬†John correctly noted that to a true evolutionist, this tooth wouldn’t have been “MADE” to “DO” anything–it would have simply mutated by accident with no purpose or direction involved.

So, our summer is quickly passing.  We still have a couple weeks left of baseball, library, and swimming lessons, and then our focus will really begin to shift back to getting ready for school.

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