Archive for February, 2011

I have listened to Brannon Howse’s radio program for several years, and learn so much about current events, Christian apologetics, etc. Brannon holds rallies periodically throughout the United States, but one disadvantage of living “on the prairie” is that we aren’t anywhere near the cities where these rallies are held.  Before Christmas, Brannon announced that his organization was going to try to hold a live online rally in 2011 that would feature some of his best speakers and topics so that everyone with the appropriate internet connections would have free access to his rally regardless of location.  I was immediately interested, and signed up to be a host site shortly after the sign-up began.  At first, we planned on just having it in our home for our own family, but we also decided to see if there was any interest at our church.  There was enough interest to move the rally to a bigger location!  So, Dan went a church member’s house that has a nice large-screen TV that can be hooked up to a computer and tested everything out.  It looks like we are all set!

The rally will be this Sunday night, February 27, 2011, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm (Central Time).  For those who live nearby, we’d love to have you join our group!  (Feel free to contact me about the location).  For those who live elsewhere, you all can still participate as well by registering at http://www.worldviewweekend.com/onlinerally/ .  There is no fee for this rally, and the speakers should be fantastic!

The speakers include the following:

1. Dr. Ron Carlson, who is the founder of Christian Ministries International. and has written many books including Fast Facts on False Teachings

2. Brannon Howse, founder of Worldview Weekends

3. Dr. David Noebel, founder and president of Summit Ministries

4. Dr. Erwin Lutzer, senior pastor of historic Moody Church

5. Usama Dakdok, a Christian speaker from Egypt.  (I have heard him before, and I would attend this rally just to hear him!)

Some of the topics for this free online rally include the consequences of political correctness, what happens when a nation forgets God, lessons America should learn from Nazi Germany, what is sustainable development, and why the Church wins even when it appears to be losing.  This link has more details about the speakers and the topics, and there is still time to sign up regardless of location at this link.

For those who can attend in this area, we plan on making some yummy sandwiches and having fingerfood during the rally since it will last through the regular dinner hour here.  It should be a great time–I invite everyone “on the prairie” and “off the prairie!”

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Yes, we are still here!  🙂  I have not been able to post for several days.  Last weekend was filled up with orchestra rehearsals and concerts, and we have been dealing with a health issue (not in the immediate Prairie Family) that has made the last week *interesting* .  Although difficult situations are not ideal, it is through those times that I learn more about God’s faithfulness, love, and absolute control, so I praise Him for that.  The Prairie Family Dad and kids have been amazing through all of this as well. They have all been flexible and supportive, and that has meant a lot to me.

Anyway, we were able to squeeze in some Valentine’s Day celebrating last week.  The kids love Valentine’s Day!  They make sacks well in advance of the holiday and spend a lot of time making each other cards and gifts.  Sometimes the sentiments on the cards are serious, but usually they are funny and we all get good laughs as the sacks are opened.  Dan and I had decided to get us all one gift for Valentine’s Day as well as our 15th wedding anniversary (which was February 17th) instead of all of the little things that don’t last.  We had some gift cards to use on Amazon.com , so we bought a Kindle and a lighted cover for it.  I haven’t had much time to learn about it yet, but it does look like something that we will use and enjoy.  The kids have had fun trying out different things on it.  John has even figured out how to use the internet and send messages on it, so that is pretty cool.

It looks like things are getting back to “normal,” so hopefully I will be able to get back to my regular posting.  I do have some exciting things coming up church-wise that I want to share in the next couple of days!



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Another Poem by Brock

Brock turned in another good poem after my last entry, so I decided to post it too!  This one is a cinquain, which is a poem that focuses on syllables rather than rhyming.  In a cinquain, the first line is supposed to have two syllables; the second line has four syllables; the third line has six syllables; the fourth line has eight syllables; the last line has two syllables.  Here is Brock’s cinquain:



Follow your goal

Climbing the mountain peaks

Determined to reach the great heights

A quest


I thought this cinquain fits well with the things Brock is learning in Boy Scouts.

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Brock’s Poetry

Brock loves to write.  In fact, it is a hobby for him!  He has ongoing series of adventure stories that he writes for fun and sends to his friends via email.  He tells me that he has many ideas for future series as well.

Writing for school, however, is not one of Brock’s favorite tasks!  I’ve given him all of the lectures about learning techniques to improve writing skills, broadening his horizons, etc., and he always completes his assignments, but it is not with his greatest enthusiasm.  This past week, his 6th grade A Beka Academy class was doing a brief unit on writing poetry.  Brock’s first reaction was, “Oh, yuck!  I don’t write poetry!  In fact, I don’t think I CAN write poetry!” I encouraged him to try his best.  I did not expect him to put very much energy or thought into these exercises, but, boy, was I surprised!

The first day of this poetry writing unit, Brock was supposed to write some brief statements defining something.  He chose childhood, and here are some of his thoughts:

Childhood is the time when one’s young imagination knows no limits.

Childhood is the fun found in jumping into a stream on a summer day.

For the next day’s assignment, Brock was supposed to write a rhyming poem.  He chose a topic dear to his heart:  knights.

In one kingdom there was a knight

Who went off to join the great fight.

He sharpened his spear

With hardly a fear

For he knew his king was right.

By the end of the week, Brock was supposed to write a poem about a picture in his textbook of clouds.  I was so surprised when I read his writing!

Look up there!  Don’t you see?

An art show in the sky waiting for thee.

There are creatures and beasts, pictures galore,

One can look for hours, and then gaze some more.

That one is strange; there’s a sheep!

Pictures waiting in a jumbled heap.

They might be silent, but they tell stories loud,

Looking for pictures inside of a cloud.

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Valentine Cookie Adventure

The girls have been wanting to make cut-out cookies to decorate for a long time, and I thought that Valentine heart cookies would be fun to make for this month’s church dinner. Little did I know…

To make this task “easier” I bought a couple of cookie mixes.  Silly me, I thought that sugar cookie mixes would make sugar cookies!  No, these mixes made a crumbly mess that we turned into a pasty mess as we added water to make the dough a better consistency!  We ended up throwing out the whole batch of dough.

Thank goodness for the internet!  I told the girls that I would try to find a recipe that we could try if we had all of the ingredients.  I lucked out!  The first recipe I found was The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies on allrecipes.com .  We had everything we needed for the dough, so we gave it a try!  I am happy to say that the dough worked up beautifully!  It is definitely a keeper!

The girls had a blast decorating the hearts!  Luke even jumped in there and decorated a couple.  The neat seasonal sprinkles that are available these days sure make this part of the process fun!  We just might have to try this again!

Valentine Cookies

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Snow Ice Cream

The Prairie has been VERY cold the last couple of days!  In fact, right now it is -4 degrees with a wind chill of -26 degrees! We haven’t had a lot of snow, but the wind and cold temperatures have made things pretty miserable anyway!

Recently I have been noticing many snow ice cream recipes on the internet.  My first thoughts about that idea was rather skeptical–vanilla flavored snow just didn’t seem that appetizing.  Fun, maybe; appetizing, no.  Well, that all changed when I came across Almost Unschooler’s recipe for New and Improved Snow Ice Cream.   This recipe used some special ingredients that sounded good, and the lady who invented the recipe commented that it tastes like Dairy Queen’s soft serve ice cream.  I decided that since we are going through quite a cold, snowy spell, we might as well take advantage of it and give this recipe a try.  Well, you can see from this entry’s photo that this recipe was quite a hit!  In fact, this Snow Ice Cream might just become a regular Prairie Family snowstorm activity!  🙂  I asked the author of Almost Unschoolers if I could share the recipe here on the Prairie Family Chronicles, and she graciously agreed.  We doubled the recipe, and it came out to be just the right amount for the seven of us.  So, here is this great, easy, and fun recipe:


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I know I have written this before, but we absolutely LOVE American Heritage Girls!  I am so thankful that we are able to participate in the Trailblazer program, and the girls just grow in their enthusiasm each week!

We have had a very busy month in AHG.  We are currently working on three merit badges: Bible Basics, Textile Arts, and Sign Language. For Bible Basics, we have been discussing attributes of God and making flapbooks about what we are learning.  Textile Arts has been interesting.  I wrote earlier about our tie dye project.  Now we are learning about and experimenting with different kinds of weaving.  I found a really cute, simple project using a plastic cup and yarn to weave a nice pencil holder, and the girls have been having fun with that.  When they finish their cups, I will definitely post pictures with instructions to share.  We are still working on learning to fingerspell the letters of the alphabet for the sign language merit badge, and I have been really surprised how quickly they have picked up on it.

Just for fun, we ended our meeting last night by making snow ice cream.  It was SO YUMMY!  I got permission from the lady who posted the original recipe to share it on The Prairie Family Chronicles, so I will be putting that post together as soon as I get this one finished!

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